Last week I read a Technology Review report about researchers finding an early DaVinci self-portrait. The paper on which the portrait had been drawn was later used by DaVinci himself when he was writing “The Flight of Birds.”
Sure, the fact that this portrait was uncovered at all was amazing. What is truly amazing is that once this was done, a later researcher decided to reexamine the find and try to recreate the results. Not only did she manage to duplicate what had been done earlier, but she did it all with free software.
And this is what got me to thinking about the challenges our protagonists face. How many of us pull back when presenting our protagonist with a challenge? “There is no way,” we tell ourselves, ” that my character would have access to the tools to solve this problem.”
Really? Because someone just uncovered a DaVinci potrait that had been overwritten some 500 years ago and she did it using free software.
Sure, she has to know how to use the software or she figured it out. But she did it.
What more could our characters accomplish if we really knew the resources they might have access to?